It’s that time again. The baseball offseason is upon us and there are moves to be made. The biggest moves, of course, will involve Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, but there are plenty of others that could – and should – happen.
Sign Machado or Harper…or Both!
As crazy as it sounds, the Philadelphia Phillies are actually in a position to sign the top two free agents available this offseason. The team’s payroll is right around $115 million and the Phillies don’t have many commitments beyond 2020. The time is right!
The Colorado Rockies might want to make a run at Harper. Why not? His numbers - .387/.489/.627 are outstanding at Coors Field and teamed up with Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon the Rockies might be able to get to a World Series. If not Colorado, then what about San Francisco? The Giants need something to lift them out of the NL West depths. The problem is they might not be very good for the next five years or so.
How about Machado? The Tigers could use a slugger of Machado’s caliber, but they still have $55 million tied up in Miguel Cabrera and Jordan Zimmerman over the next two seasons. Still, they have the room to go after Machado, but will Mike Ilitch’s son Chris, now in charge, spend the money?
The White Sox are in the same boat as Detroit. Chicago hasn’t finished above .500 since 2012. Harper would be more attractive in Chicago, but Machado would suffice in a lineup that finished just 22nd in batting average in 2018 (.241) and 16th in homers (182).
We Need a Pitcher!
Somebody in Cleveland is getting traded and the word is it might be Corey Kluber, a two-time Cy Young Award winner that went 20-7 last season. The Braves might be first in line for Kluber who might just put them in line to take over the National League from the Dodgers stranglehold.
Or maybe the Brewers would like an ace in their rotation instead of having to ‘bullpen’ their way through games. Kluber would be a great addition. Cincinnati has finished in last place in the NL Central for four straight seasons and needs pitching help. The Reds need more than just one though. How about Kluber? Or maybe Dallas Keuchel? Add in Nathan Eovaldi for good measure.
We’re Getting Closer
Kenley Jansen just isn’t automatic anymore. What the Dodgers could really use is a closer like Edwin Diaz who had 57 saves last season in Seattle. He’s under contract for four years, so it would take some work on L.A.’s part, but Diaz could be the missing piece. The Chicago Cubs could use Diaz as well.
The Mets bullpen had a 4.96 ERA, which would have been MLB’s worst if not for Kansas City and Miami. Jacob deGrom just won the Cy Young and the Mets still have Noah Syndergaard. All they need is a capable bullpen. The question is will they spend the money to acquire someone like Andrew Miller, Zach Britton, or Adam Ottavino? Or all three?